Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kathy Kansier and Quilt Appraisals

Yesterday the speaker at the East Cobb Quilters guild was Kathy Kansier. This is a large guild that I belong to in Cobb County GA. Kathy is a certified judge quilt appraiser and also a great teacher. She gave a great talk about the judging process and tips on what judges are looking for in winning quilts.

After lunch Kathy held an appraisal session and I was lucky enough to be her assistant for the afternoon. We were very busy and I did such things as measuring and counting blocks. She appraised 11 quilts and all but 2 of them were antique. We had a crazy quilt dated 1885 that was in incredible condition. It must have belonged to a wealthy family since it was made up of silks, brocades, velvets and other fabric that would have been very expensive for that time. One of the most incredible thing about this quilt was that it has some sort of photo transfer. Kathy said that they actually had a process that used turpentine back then to do this.

Another quilt was dated 1849 and was created by the ladies of a church for a minister who was moving west. All of the blocks were signed and dated. The women who brought this in had a hand written letter from a great aunt that documented the history. Someone else had a quilt that they had found in the attic of their grandmothers house in NC that was from the 1870s. Kathy was so knowledgeable about quilt history and I learned so much. She was also very gracious in letting me be her assistant. If you like quilts and history, you really would have loved this!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I have Been Up To

Time seems to be flying by. I am really taking my artistic goals seriously. So far this year I have sent entries off to 3 quilt shows, 1 art show and a Quilting Arts Magazine challenge. I created 2 pieces for the QA Rock-on challenge and I must say that this was so much fun to do. I can't show them here yet but will as soon as I can. Lets hope one gets selected for publication.

I am also working with someone on my website which is also very exciting. This is something I have wanted to do for about a year so I am really feeling good about moving forward. Also trying write a class but that is going slowly.

I just started a new piece a couple of days ago so it is really in the beginning stages. It is based on the photo below. This picture was taken on the Knotley River in NC and I love this tree. I had a 1 yard piece of hand dyed fabric by Laura Wasilowski that I cut up for the water and dirt area of the bank. Sometime it can be so hard to cut up some of these special fabrics. I am excited to see where I go with this and I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looking Back To Move Forward

This is my first landscape quilt. I started it in 2005 and finished it in 2006. I look at it now and it seems so simple. I was looking for a new hobby and was inspired by the book Landscape Quilts by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. Little did I know that I would become so absorbed with creating art quilts.

My landscapes now have become very detailed and I am obsessed with creating realistic scenes using paints, colored pencils, markers or anything else that will enhance the scene. I feel I have grown as an artist and am excited to expand my horizons. I think we can learn a lot about our selves and work by taking time to reflect on what we have done and where we want to go. Have you ever taken the time to look back to move forward?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally - New Work For 2009

I have finally completed a couple of small pieces to start the year. These are for 2 of my friends and will be given to them tomorrow. We decided to exchange 5x7 pieces of art and thought it might be best to wait until after the holidays after things had settled down a bit. This first piece is called '17 Mile Drive'. This is based on a picture I took on a trip to California last year. I love the trees along the coast of Monterrey Bay that look like they are just handing onto the rocks above the water. I used commercial fabrics for everything but the sky/water which is hand painted. I used colored pencils to add highlights and shading to the tree trunk and rocks. This is for my friend Suzanne.

The second piece is call 'Tuscan View' and is based on a picture that I took in Italy a couple of years ago. My friend Vickie will be receiving this. She went to Italy this year and I thought this might remind her of her trip. The center landscape is all commercial fabrics. The arch is painted warm and natural. It was a bear to sew through since behind it is some of the landscape, another layer of batting, stabilizer and the backing. I snapped 2 needles on the quilting.

These were fun little pieces to create but I need to get busy on some serious work.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Late Start to a New Year

How can a third of January almost be history? I have been a bit under the weather for the start of the year so I am behind in everything. Still don't have all my Christmas decorations put away. I have put together a list of artistic goals I want accomplish this year and will post them here to help with accountability.
  1. Enter 12 events - this includes quilt shows, at least 4 art events and challenges for publication
  2. Teach at least 4 sessions of my Landscape Quilting Class
  3. Complete 4 major pieces of work - major defined as at least 40' x 40'
  4. Create a monthly journal quilt
  5. Post on my blog at least 5 times a month
  6. Take a class to improve my quilting skills
  7. Get a commitment from a gallery for a solo show
  8. Sell a piece of art
  9. Get my website up and running
I realize some of these are pretty lofty goals but what is life without a challenge? I think I had better get busy.